Street Preaching & The Example of Christ


Behold, my servant, whom I uphold; my chosen, in whom my soul delighteth: I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the Gentiles. He will not cry, nor lift up his voice, nor cause it to be heard in the street. – Isaiah 42:1,2; cf. Matthew 12:18,19.

Street-preaching today is most often defined by loud, confrontational, bull-horn or microphone wielding young men gathered at festivals and events where large numbers are expected. Most, if not all, I dare say, do so without the confirmation of a call to preach, and being sent by the local church, as one having authority. The reputation of street-preachers as confrontational, open-air agitators and debaters is one that has been largely brought upon themselves by their actions. This is unfortunate, and certainly does not serve the Church or the Gospel well. Aside from the obvious fact that many, if not most, should not be preaching at all (neither being called nor sent to do so), there is the example of Christ Jesus that is not being followed.

Isaiah 42:1,2 and Matthew 12:18 and 19 coupled with the Gospels themselves, give a clear example of how Jesus preached – and street preachers should not:

  1. He made no effort to raise His voice in a loud, boisterous, confrontational manner.
  2. He was not screaming or ‘lifting up His voice’ at people telling them to Repent!
  3. He was not contentious, using angry words towards people passing by.
  4. He did not ‘bait’ His hearers into arguments.
  5. He did not encourage debate with scoffers.
  6. Unlike the lying teachers of Scripture, He did not exalt Himself in order to gain attention.
  7. He did not seek to draw attention to Himself.

The second amendment rights from the Constitution should never overshadow the importance of living, or preaching, in Christ’s example. The example and appearance of Christ was gentle, quiet, humble, meek – the opposite of those lying teachers found in Scripture and certainly the very opposite of most modern day street preaching.

The video below shows you an example of street preaching that is typical of these days… Loud, argumentative, confrontational, attention getting and of course, the location – when the sign says don’t walk, you have to listen, right?

Food for thought.